Switzerland's competition watchdog will examine closely the planned merger between France Telecom's
Along with Swisscom
There are signs the planned merger could lead to or increase a market dominant position in various areas of mobile telecommunications, ComCo said, adding that it would conclude its examination within four months.
France Telecom announced in late November it would pay 1.5 billion euros ($2.15 billion) for a 75 percent stake in a new company with the assets and clients of Sunrise, owned by Denmark's TDC
The deal, which is expected to close in May 2010, comes as European telecom operators are seeking ways to cut costs and improve profitability in mature markets with few growth prospects.
One solution for telecom groups is to buy out rivals to reduce competition in markets.
TDC is 88-percent owned by private equity firms Apax Partners, the Blackstone Group
Shares in France Telecom were little changed by the announcement and were up 1.3 percent at 1020 GMT, outperforming the European Dow Jones Telecommunications index <.SXKP>. Those in rival Swisscom were up 0.5 percent.
(Reporting by Sven Egenter and Catherine Bosley, editing by Anthony Barker)